A Hayward police officer was arrested over the weekend on suspicion of sexually abusing several girls in Livermore before he became part of the force, Livermore police said Monday.
Hayward police Officer Richard McLeod, 38, of Livermore, was arrested Saturday on suspicion of sexual conduct with girls between the ages of 12 and 14 while he was working at the Kids Zone in Livermore between 1998 and 2007.
The Kids Zone is an after-school program for middle school students. It is located at 6500 Garaventa Ranch Road.
According to Livermore police, the abuse occurred before McLeod became a police officer and there was no evidence that the sexual abuse occurred while working as an officer, but investigators were still looking Monday.
“Nothing thus far, we've looked at everything and we haven't been able to discover anything that he's perpetrated any sex crimes since departing from the kid zone,” said Livermore Police Officer Steve Goard.
Police say they launched their investigation after a victim came to them several months ago. She claims that McLeod initiated a sexual relationship with her when she was in junior high school, which checked out, according to investigators.
In the course of the police investigation, officers said they found several other victims.
McLeod was lead coordinator for Livermore's kid zone program and they say he initiated a number of sexual relationships that lasted for years as the girls moved from junior high school to senior high school.
Officials from the Livermore-area Recreation and Parks District said Monday that they were cooperating with police, and that they had no idea McLeod was using the program to target minors.
“When we hire somebody as was the case with this person, we do a fingerprint check and background check,” said Livermore Area Recreation and Park District General Manager Tim Barry.
The Hayward Police Department has placed McLeod on administrative leave since his arrest.
According to jail records, he was scheduled to be arraigned at the Gale-Schenone Hall of Justice in Pleasanton Tuesday afternoon.
He was booked into Santa Rita Rail in Dublin and was being held on $750,000 bail.
Livermore police were looking Monday for more information about the ongoing investigation. Those with information were asked to call Livermore police at (925) 294-7531.
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